Trial of Rwanda opposition figure postponed

2011-06-20 17:37

Kigali - A Rwanda court on Monday postponed the trial of opposition figure Victoire Ingabire until September 5, after her lawyers asked for more time to prepare, officials said.

"The Kigali High Court has adjourned the criminal case against Victoire Ingabire and her four co-accused until 5 September 2011. This decision followed a request Victoire Ingabire made... to postpone the trial so that she and her lawyers could finish their preparations," the prosecutor's office said.

This is the second postponement. The trial had initially been supposed to kick off on May 16.

"Ingabire asked for extra time to work on her file with her lawyers," said Charles Kaliwabo, a spokesperson for the Rwandan courts.

Ingabire is charged with "giving financial support to a terrorist group, planning to cause state insecurity and divisionism".


The politician, an outspoken critic of Rwandan leader Paul Kagame, has been in custody since her arrest in October.

Ingabire's case file runs to 2 500 pages and only one of her three defence counsel is proficient in the language in which it is written.

Rwandan prosecutors claim to have evidence of Ingabire's alleged "terrorist" activities, including proof of financial transfers to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Hutu rebel movement based in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ingabire's Unified Democratic Forces, refused accreditation as a political party in Rwanda, accuses Rwandan authorities of fabricating evidence against its leader with the sole aim of preventing her from participating in the political life of the small central African country.